Friday, May 1, 2009

Review: Suite Scarlett

Maureen Johnson. Suite Scarlett. Point: 2009.

Suite Scarlett is decidedly a book for me. It has backstage drama, a mysterious and eccentric patroness, and wacky antics in a fabulous art deco hotel. It's a sweet, lighthearted comedy in a realistic setting brimming with the sense of whimsy that contemporary New York often so desperately needs.

The book stars Scarlett Martin, the third of four children in the Martin family, whose parents happen to own and manage the Hopewell Hotel, a fabulous (if slightly run-down) hotel built in the 1920s. The family, facing financial troubles, has had to fire the staff and indenture the kids into a summer of manual labor and hotel management.

When the eccentric Mrs. Amberson checks in and offers Scarlett a well-paying job as her personal secretary, all of a sudden Scarlett finds herself hunting down obscure teas and health foods, taking notes for an ill-fated memoir, and helping to stage a production of Hamlet featuring her beloved older brother, Spencer, and Scarlett's crush, the handsome and comedic Eric.

This is a fun, light summer comedy. I found myself laughing out loud (really) at points during the novel. I highly recommend taking it to the beach or on vacation this summer. It's a super quick read and utterly delightful and silly. The characters are charming and the situations the slightest bit absurd (or at least unlikely). If you like a good wacky romp with lot of theater and a little romance, this is for you.

Personally, I can't wait for the sequel, Scarlett Fever. Also, when she's finished with the Scarlett trilogy, I'd love mj to write a novel actually set in the 1920s. Wouldn't it be fun if there were a mj version of Thoroughly Modern Millie meets The Great Gatsby? She already knows a lot about being fabulous.


  1. Oh, you should totally get her her to write Thoroughly Modern Millie meets The Great Gatsby! It would be awesome.

  2. That picture made me smile soo much.